Dairy Farmers of Ontario wants consumers to love milk again

The industry body moves the focus from its farmers to their product.


Dairy Farmers of Ontario wants to “launch a milk renaissance,” according to CMO Sean Bredt, by showing the product’s versatility in fun and unexpected ways.

The industry body’s latest campaign was built to show milk in ways that would grab attention, featuring quick-cut vignettes that include someone getting a milk carton tattoo and a cat guzzling milk right out of the fridge.

The difference in tone and focus from its spring campaign is considerable. “Dairy Done Right” featured real-life farmers reading letters to the next generation of their industry in quiet black and white. Bredt says that while the feel of the campaigns differ in tone and execution, they are both born from the commitment to “doing dairy right” and are both meant to target millennial parents. Bredt says milk may not always be top of mind when consumers are choosing “contemporary” foods that fit into their modern lifestyle and choices, a mindset it is hoping to change.

“We strategically planned for this campaign to be a close follow-up to our spring campaign to establish the connection between our dairy farmers and the product they make” Bredt says. He says the campaign spend is consistent with its spring effort.

The DFO decided to reinvest in marketing in Ontario when it withdrew its marketing contribution to the national Dairy Farmers of Canada in 2018. It’s Ontario-specific strategy started with  farmers themselves countering “misinformation” about milk’s production process and health benefits, a common strategy among both regional and national dairy associations responding to concerns about the environmental impact of cattle farming and the dietary considerations of dairy products (though some of those have gotten into hot water for their own inaccurate claims). Now, Bredt says, the goal is to transition to tackling the idea that dairy can’t be part of favourite meals.

The campaign is running from Sept. 16 to Nov. 8. It involves a multi-channel plan that includes TV, cinema, OOH, digital, social media, and public relations managed by No Fixed Address in partnership with Northstar Research Partners.